March22 @ @ RandyP comments: devotion:FaithOfJesus kjv@Matthew:20:20-28 EVEN AS THE SON OF MAN - Christ has dramatically humbled Himself in ways that we barely comprehend from His previous state to the point where not even who sit at His future right and left hand are not in His power. He has given it all to the Father that He might minister to man and give His life for many. Few could ever say that they ministered unto Him but, that He ministered unto them. His answer settles a lot of question and dispute on both sides. As His Father ministered through Him to man, He is to continue ministering through us to man. The focus for us is to be as Him, humble to the point where it is Him working through us. Humble is not determined by standing or position or even how many possessions and effort that you and your family have volunteered into the ministry; it is an attitude and viewpoint that is pervasive through out your being. The faith of our Lord is in His Father. He submits Himself to whatever the Father wills to be, knowing that whatever is willed to be is throughly righteous because the Father is righteous. His cup is filled with the Father's will if even to death.
September13 @ @ RandyP comments: devotion:FaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:15:1-7 NINETY AND NINE JUST PERSONS - There are two forms of justification here, those who are justified by Christ the Righteous Servant and those that are justified by the law. As much as the Pharisees and Scribes are convinced that they are justified by the law, Jesus has shown the Pharisees and Scribes as hypocrites and sorely missing the mark called for by the law. They often transgress the law in the very same breath that they are trying to fulfill the it. The is the position all men are in. When Jesus says ninety and nine just He is not talking about men that are justified by the law, He is talking about men whom presume themselves to have met it, whom have been proven not to have met it and yet insist that they have met it. They are in quite the predicament. Why would the Great Shepherd rejoice over their insolent unresponsive hearts? Why would He not leave them to go find the one that has drifted out of their hardened pack and rejoice? Why would He not put the new found believer on His shoulders, carry Him proudly, make a joyful proclamation to all? It is not that Jesus sits with sinners and publicans, it is that He sits with people who see the pack for what they really are, who leave or refuse to go along with the pack in the first place, that are sinners just like those in the pack, who are willing to entertain the notion of Christ, who are willing to accept the promise of His salvation, who are willing to turn from their hardened ways and become Christ's. It is a very large number of people who think that they are above this business of Christ compared that to those that become found. Notice that they did not find Him; He went out and found them. The faith of our Lord does not see justification the way most of us do; it is something that He does for them, not something they do for themselves. Try as you might not to have to need Him, one must be lost before they are found.
September15 @ @ RandyP comments: devotion:FaithOfJesus kjv@Luke:15:11-32 A CERTAIN MAN HAD TWO SONS - Who are these sons? One son has served his dad all this time and has not transgressed his command. Every thing the dad yet possess is this son's. That takes every man/woman that I know out of the running. This son complains about the celebratory nature of his brother's return. The other son takes his inheritance in advance, squanders it, falls upon difficult times. This son would portray every single human in relation to God. This particular man realizes the error of his way and goes back to the dad even if to be a servant. This would portray every believer. So if one son is all people and the other is none, who is the other son? Who has not transgressed and retains their rightful inheritance that would now be confused and upset about the prodigal return of all repentant believing men? We heard in the previous parts of this discourse about the Angels rejoicing when a lost sinner is brought back by the Good Shepherd. Are all Angels that have not transgressed and still retain their rightful inheritance happy about mankind's celebrated return (unproven return) from such carnal reprobacy? I would say yes the Angels are happy, but with conscious effort. If this interpretation is true it would also suggest that the merriment amongst friends (like believers) is another area of initial angelic contention. It is better understood as the joy of the dad for the sons return being enjoyed amongst them rather than the friends carousing at the dad's expense. The faith of our Lord not only has to deal with the hearts and sincere feelings of men, but also of the Heavenly host. It would be easy for the dad to become so consumed by the actions of the lost son so as to diminish the sincerity and loyalty of the other. The righteousness of our Lord is that His mind/designs is always on both.
December23 @ @ RandyP comments: devotion:FaithOfJesus kjv@John:19:17-27 THIS TITLE - A epitaph may not say as much about a man as it does about the meaning others held about him. Pilates' title for Jesus is mounted atop the cross for all to see, no doubt there could have been a thousand more titles that could have been nailed there as well. What title would you put on His cross to some up His meaning to you? Would it be "fable or myth"? Would it be "fool for believing as He did"? Would it be "good guy...wish He could have hung out a little longer"? Would it be "old dude back then.. not relevant today"? Would it be my Savior" (not fully knowing what all that meant)? The crowd on this day had their own private ideas about what the life and now death of Jesus was going to mean. Think of those near to His mother Mary. Think of the Sanhedrin. Think of the guards. Think of the casual observer. All had their own idea, some personal and emotional, some separate and detached, some involved with the clean up, few realistic, none searching nor understanding of the meaning to His Father God (after all this is HIS sacrifice). What tile would His Heavenly Father put on that cross? As promised? I told you? Beloved in whom I am well pleased? After all that I have done you still do not know me? How about "MY SON"? Could it be that the meaning we give this matter is only of secondary importance to the significance the Father places on it? Could it be that for all that we know we really know nothing at all? When you read this gospel did you really think that it was all about whatever meaning you wanted to give it or did you think of the meaning God wanted you to give it? Pilates' meaning, a slap in the face to get over on the Jews, a means of re-establishing his own power, based on nothing that Jesus told him. How about yours? The Jews' meaning, an accusation of a man foolishly claiming to be something that he is not, a man despite his miraculous abilities is an imposter to the legalistic faith they would rather hold to. How about yours? To His mother, a sharp pain in the chest, a stream of tears that is unending, a period of time and hope and physical separation now suddenly/forcibly ending. To the disciple whom He loved, a shock though prepared for never fully anticipated, a yet intellectual realm of spiritual possibilities, a new set of of obligation and responsibility. It could be that the title hung over a man publically (like in this case) has nothing to do with your perception, but you lack the power publically to do anything about it. What then about yours? What title, what meaning would you give this solemn occasion? Is it closer to these peoples meaning, closer to the principalities meaning or is it closer to His Fathers? One title comes to mind; Lord/King. Even it too comes with a multitude of selfishly saturated individual/public interpretations. The faith of our Lord is that somehow, someway, some time by the power of word and His Spirit that you will be drawn into the deeper meaning/the more rightful title. It is the richer fuller faith closer to the meaning that His Father has placed on Him. It is this meaning that reveals the Father's heart and intentions like no other. It is the banner we then must carry forward as a church into the fields of public perception.